Duchess Catherine's first year as a royal has been faultless, according to Queen Elizabeth's cousin.

The 30-year-old brunette beauty has thrown herself into public life since she married the queen's grandson Prince William on April 29 2011 and Catherine has impressed Lady Elizabeth Anson with her grace and sense of fun.

She told the Radio Times magazine: ''At the moment it is absolutely brilliant. She shouldn't change a thing because she is refreshing, she's beautiful, she's never put on a piece of clothing that didn't suit her and yet she still laughs and looks happy and likes to chat.''

However, Lady Elizabeth admitted she was nervous for Catherine - previously Kate Middleton - before the wedding, especially because the marriage of William's parents, Prince Charles and Princess Diana, ended in divorce.

She said: ''Everyone wanted a fairy tale. But we were rather like nervous children in that we'd had our fairy tale with William's parents which didn't work out. I'm not so certain we thought we deserved another fairy tale so soon.

''It's been an absolute miracle. I think either she is blessed with a very natural gift or somebody very cleverly, quietly and calmly has been teaching her the knack of it.''